I think that there are some who are missing part of the picture when it comes to the death of Junior Seau.
Now, while my sports tree has been trimmed down to pretty much post-season events and video games, Junior Seau was a star in my sports watching prime. One of the best linebackers to ever play the game, he was found dead last week of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
Immediately, the speculation turned to the number of hits he had taken to his head during a 20-year career as the professional football player (not to mention the four years prior to that as a star at USC, the six years before that as a high school player in Oceanside, Calif., or the years of Pop Warner and little league ball).
Several retired players, including former Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner, came out as said that they would consider not allowing their children to play football because of the dangers associated with the sport, and I can’t say that I disagree with them. However, I do not have to make that decision because I live in a soccer school district.
Last year, former Chicago Bears and New York Giants defensive back Dave Duerson also killed himself in like manner to Seau, but left a not saying that he wanted his brain donated to science. Translation, Duerson realized that there was a problem and wanted in solved so others did not have to go through what he did mentally and emotionally.
Former Atlanta Falcons player Ray Easterling also killed himself in the past year, with people again looking at the trauma associated with head injuries as a factor in his mental state.
However, I think that the national media is overlooking one crucial part to the equation, and it is the giant gorilla in the room.
Keith Lobdell is the editor of the Valley News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.